Jay Johnson, president and CEO of Gulfstream Aerospace and Jet Aviation parent company General Dynamics, said yesterday that Gulfstream had a “banner” fourth quarter, with deliveries of 35 green aircraft–including 12 G650s–versus 20 jets in the same period in 2010. For 2011, Gulfstream shipped 107 jets, eight more than in the previous year. Last year the company also recorded the highest number of new aircraft orders since the G650 was introduced in 2008 and “the best year ever in service volume.”
Further good news came in the delivery backlog–the order book for the G650 currently exceeds 200 airplanes and G450 and G550 backlogs are each in a “healthy” 18- to 24-month range. In total, the company has a $17.9 billion backlog. Gulfstream expects to deliver more than 100 large-cabin jets this year, including 24 green G650s, along with 10 to 15 super-midsize G280s. Full FAA certification of both the G280 and G650 is expected by midyear. It is anticipated that G650 production will ramp up further, to between 35 and 50 aircraft annually starting next year.
Meanwhile, problems at Jet Aviation resulted in charges of $180 million, which eroded General Dynamics’ fourth-quarter earnings to $603 million, versus $729 million in 2010. These charges were the result of increased labor hours and late penalties associated with three bizliner cabin completion projects at Jet Aviation.